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Biodegradation. 2011 Sep;22(5):845-57. doi: 10.1007/s10532-010-9442-0. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Biodegradation of endosulfan and endosulfan sulfate by Achromobacter xylosoxidans strain C8B in broth medium.

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Pesticide Toxicology and Soil Microbial Ecology Lab, Department of Zoology, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.


Endosulfan is one of the most widely used wide spectrum cyclodiene organochlorine insecticide. In environment, endosulfan can undergo either oxidation or hydrolysis reaction to form endosulfan sulfate and endosulfan diol respectively. Endosulfan sulfate is as toxic and as persistent as its parent isomers. In the present study, endosulfan degrading bacteria were isolated from soil through selective enrichment technique using sulfur free medium with endosulfan as sole sulfur source. Out of the 8 isolated bacterial strains, strain C8B was found to be the most efficient endosulfan degrader, degrading 94.12% α-endosulfan and 84.52% β-endosulfan. The bacterial strain was identified as Achromobacter xylosoxidans strain C8B on the basis of 16S rDNA sequence similarity. Achromobacter xylosoxidans strain C8B was also found to degrade 80.10% endosulfan sulfate using it as sulfur source. No known metabolites were found to be formed in the culture media during the entire course of degradation. Besides, the bacterial strain was found to degrade all the known endosulfan metabolites. There was marked increase in the quantity of released CO(2) from the culture media with endosulfan as sulfur source as compared to MgSO(4) suggesting that the bacterial strain, Achromobacter xylosoxidans strain C8B probably degraded endosulfan completely through the formation of endosulfan ether.

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